February 1, 2024

John Perkins - District 1 Candidate


Thank you for allowing me to talk about District 1. 

District 1 borders two cities, Kansas City, Sugar Creek, and unincorporated Jackson County.  The 1st District has the most socioeconomic and cultural make-up boasting 4 distinct areas: The Historic Square, Englewood, Maywood, and Fairmount.  We are a cultural melting pot for our community withs Hispanic, Island Pacific, and African American heritages. 

A top priority when elected was to bring economic development and reduce blight.  The city has spent over a half a million dollars for the removal of dangerous commercial and residential structures since that time.  This has helped to revitalize the Englewood area and surrounding neighborhoods.  My focus now is revitalizing old town Fairmount using the 24 Highway Complete Street Program for an economic development.  The 24 Highway Complete Street Program is the largest capital investment in northwest Independence in over 40 years.  Conversations with city leaders, stakeholders and the development community are under way and will continue through the coming months.

Working to protect our neighborhoods and schools, I helped establish the city’s first Street Crime Unit.  The Street Crime Unit is dedicated to strategically fighting crime in our neighborhoods.  I have worked to increase the funding for our police department to give them the tools and technology needed to prevent and respond to crime.

One of the challenges facing Independence and the 1st District is homelessness.  Although there are no easy answers, we have partnered with Community Services League to start the Independence TOGETHER program.  This program employs houseless individuals to clean up our roadways.  The success of this program can be measured two ways.  The first, several people have worked hard and have found permanent housing due to the opportunity to work.  The second is by the amount of trash that has been picked up off our roadways- 250,000 pounds.  Community partners are working together to establish Independence’s first drop-in center.  This center will work to meet the basic needs of those who are homeless such as: showers, laundry facilities, and wrap-around services.  The ARCH program, Alternative Response to Community Health, is a mobile crisis team that works in conjunction with our police department to assure individuals suffering from a mental health crisis can receive proper care.

There is still plenty of work left to do and I know that we as a community are up to the challenge.

Thank you,

John Perkins

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